The Right Stuff: What we learned from Comic-Con@Home

Comic-Con@Home: Here’s what we can expect from The Right Stuff Season 1

Comic-Con looks a lot different this year, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still getting plenty of information about what’s coming next in entertainment. One of the many streaming programs included a chat with the cast and executive producers of The Right Stuff, which will air on Disney Plus.

The series stars Patrick J. Adams from Suits as the infamous John Glenn. During the presentation, Adams talked about doing extensive research on Glenn, including going through the Ohio State archives, which Glenn himself “played a big part in creating.”

Another actor you may recognize, Colin O’Donoghue from Once Upon a Time, plays Captain Gordon Cooper. Playing a famous astronaut or not, he’s at least in familiar territory with maintaining Hook’s title of “Captain.”

Between the well-known historical figures on which the series focuses and its affiliation with NatGeo (where it was originally going to air), it might sound like this is going to be more of a boring lesson than a show you’ll want to stream. But fear not.

The Right Stuff is going to be about human beings, not facts and figures

The biggest takeaway from the Comic-Con@Home appearance was, as EP Jennifer Davisson put it, The Right Stuff will have a “real, beating-heart” element. Viewers will learn about the Mercury 7 and the early days of NASA, but we’ll get to do it from a very personal place.

“It’s about the people that went there [to space], not just the journey to get there.”

There’s John and Annie Glenn’s love story, which Patrick J. Adams learned about from Glenn’s own love letters. Nora Zehetner, who plays Annie, called their love affair “the most beautiful thing that I could imagine” and said she’d spent time reading the love letters with Adams.

Annie wasn’t just John’s wife, though. And the writers really wanted to make that clear—not just for Annie Glenn but for all the astronauts’ wives.

Showrunner and executive producer Mark Lafferty admitted that he kind of cringes when he hears the wives being referred to that way—just as “the wives,” as if they only exist in relation to their husbands. Davisson stated how important it was, for both herself and Lafferty as parents of daughters, to make sure each of the female characters “proved just as heroic as the men.”

By the end of The Right Stuff Season 1, she teased, there is something “wildly emotional and incredibly hopeful.” Whatever that plot point is—no spoilers!—it didn’t come from the Mercury 7 but instead from “the wives and their children.”

How the cast and producers described The Right Stuff at Comic-Con@Home

What exactly is “the right stuff,” anyway? Is it bravery? Is it staying behind and supporting someone you love when they go off to do something dangerous? Or is it this sense of coming together to achieve a common goal? What about living under the lens of extreme scrutiny as part of what many have dubbed “American’s first reality show?”

All of these ideas were discussed when The Right Stuff visited Comic-Con@ Home. But by the end of the panel, when everyone was asked to describe the series in only one word, a lot of positive, uplifting words like “hope” and “aspiration” were shared.

Then, Dr. Mae Jemison, the panel moderator (and a living legend in her own right), combined everyone’s thoughts into one complete summary:

The Right Stuff is a series that is about determination, balance, recklessness. It’s inspirational. It’s about perseverance, passion. It’s about wonder and hope, ambition, faith, aspiration, endurance, possibilities. And it’s a world that we can all relate to. And I would say that the show is amazing, as well as an amazing cast.

The producers also said they hoped to provide more diverse stories in a possible second season. In which case, there may need to be more adjectives to describe the series after that point.

Here’s hoping.

The Right Stuff will be available to stream on Disney Plus.